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Trailer: 'CATS'

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

Just two months after the live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie's character design caused such a backlash that the movie was delayed to 2020 to fix it and on the very day the controversial "live action" Lion King hits theaters, we have yet another entry in 2019's "was 'live action' really a good idea here?" canon. The trailer for Cats is out now, and to quote the villain of the aforementioned Lion King (which is also a Boy Scout motto), "Be prepared."

Cats is being directed by Academy Award winning director Tom Hooper, and is being released to theaters Christmas day. Readers unfamiliar with the history of Cats (either this movie's version, or Cats in general) can catch up here.

Much like Sonic the Hedgehog, the initial reactions have not been particularly positive. Here are few of the choicer reactions taken from Twitter which were Tweeted within minutes of the trailer dropping. First, a negative take from Youtuber Jake Baldino (@JakeBaldino):

"This trailer made me hate my real cat"

Also reacting negatively was gimmick Twitter account NOT A WOLF (@SICKOFWOLVES):

"PUT MY FIST THROUGH A WALL WATCHING THE TRAILER FOR CATS"

To balance things out, YouTube movie critic Lindsay Ellis (@thelindsayellis) had a more positive take. Unlike the last example, her use of caps lock is to show she is excited, not a part of her regular gimmick:

"GET ON THE COCAINE-FUELED ROCKET TRAIN TO UNCANNY MEOW MEOW TOWN CHOO CHOO MOTHERFUCKERS"

Oscar pundit and movie critic Gregory Ellwood (@TheGregoryE) gave his opinion on its awards chances:

"I just want everyone to know that CATS has already won four Golden Globes. It's over. Finished."

Despite describing herself as a "Very Internet Person", Sarah (@Cinesnark) must not have run into many furries, because she was preoccupied with one anatomical feature of the female felines:

"THE CATS HAVE BOOBS

THE CATS HAVE

B

O

O

B

S

Finally, film critic Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge), who's Twitter feed has been full of snark on the subject of the Cats movie since it's announcement, had only one thing to say:

"WOW"

NOTE: Effort was made to get the opinion of an actual cat about the trailer, but the contributor's cat, Blair, kept wandering off without even offering so much a "meow", so we can only assume she was bored by it.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I can now see how a "live action" Robin Hood might look like. Not sure if I want it to happen though.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

The cats in the movie look like . . . the cats in the musical. Not exactly like the cats in the musical, since they're using CGI to make them fully furry, but basically like the cats in the musical. I don't really understand all the hate. "Movie adaptation of world-famous musical classic stays close to the aesthetic of the musical!" Um, yes?

Sure, it'd have probably been more interesting to see the take Amblin Entertainment had, back when they were working on a fully-animated version with a script by Tom Stoppard (I swear I am not making this up). But I'm more than willing to give this take a chance.

- Chipotle

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Because furries haven't seen Cats

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

It's hardly just furries.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

True, the negative reactions you listed in this article aren't even from furries. (Unless SICKOFWOLVES counts)

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

And your point is? You probably haven't either.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Well, one of the things that is getting me is why they are using "digital" fur at all.

As you point out, these are just CGI versions of the play costumes (which would seem to be an acquired taste, but given the popularity of the stage musical, maybe actually aren't?); but, seeing as how Tom Hooper basically only directs Oscar bait (either big musical adaptations, ala this and Les Miserables, or biopics, ala The King's Speech which he won for and The Danish Girl), I mean, if you didn't go the CGI route, you've got two easy lay-up Oscar nominations for Best Costuming and Best Makeup and Hairstyling that are gone now, plus any possible Acting nominations (and I don't think they're trading that for Visual Effects, either).

Production Design and the two Sound nominations (and probably the new Song) will still most likely get nominated, but as an Oscar strategy, I don't get it.

(I think the CGI thing is part of the reason it's getting such a pushback. It's pretty obviously CGI; I think if they were just in costumes and makeup, I don't think you'd get this reaction, but I think people relate CGI with "realistic" portrayals, so people are judging this movie's visuals against reality, and not the aesthetic it's actually going for. If they wanted to do CGI, they should have gone with their own aesthetic; if they wanted to be faithful to the stage play's aesthetic, they should have stuck with the whole "people in costumes" thing.)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I did just read someone explaining that they for a lot of the cats with shorter hair (say, Taylor Swift cat or perky white cat), they just CGI'ed out the human ears which does up the uncanny factor, whereas on stage human ears were covered by the big 80s hair style wigs and sideburns, which is why cats like Judi Dench's Old Deuteronomy or Ian McClellan's Gus are less weird looking.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

I think it would have been better with just theater makeup and no CGI. The CGI pushes a bit into the uncanny valley for some. A well done animated version could be pretty decent as well.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

So I've not seen the play but have wanted to. Seen clips of it so was really confused on the hate on the trailer. When I watched the trailer just now my response was "ugh" immediately and I think I know why the hate train is happening.

When it's spandex and costuming I know what I'm looking at. But the CGI fur makes my brain go as it does in other movies "Bad cgi alien" which is really distracting.

Add to that, it going looking at pictures of the Broadway production in comparison, the Hollywood one is "Here's a human, we just covered them in fur." kind of a CGI trap. Broadway knew what they're doing is wonky as hell, so had to go with little tricks, like the ears look weird just glued to the head so most have these massive manes to hide the architecture making the cats look furrier (not fandom wise, more in fluff terms) than the movie production, and black makeup under the nose and shading around to create an illusion of a muzzle. Yes, they still looked like people in cat costumes but with those tricks and all the extra floof it pushes at least me out of the uncanny valley that the Hollywood one is sitting dead in the middle of.

That is completely my two cents, I was agreeing with you "That's how it is in the play" until I saw the trailer then I figure that's what's happening. I won't know for sure until I see the movie but I kind of find myself agreeing with the jokes now.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (4 votes)

Why are some people even surprised at the reaction? It's easy to understand it really.
So what is it to understand?
It's the same usual "I am not used to seeing differences, what I am used to what I believe is true beauty." crap, and it doesn't matter if it's canon. This is likely the same type of people who has sent a backlash toward a certain music furry video on YouTube. It's likely just the same "Society hates most differences." attitude, and it's likely the same ones who usually wasted their energy against a lot of victimless yiff, and other victimless "weird" stuff for their irrational emotions.

So it's... just weird to depend on what most people think. It's the same group of people likely that would backlash against many good dreams several furries have. Hell, there was a popular video attacking the artist's design in Sheep & Wolves involving one of the main characters. Just because the person finds it uncomfortable.

And honestly, I don't like the designs of these characters (The ones in that CATS video), but knowing that beauty is subjective, and that it is possible to suck it up and get used to big ugly pig people, I would just look at these designs as no different than humans after getting used to the designs.
Did anyone ever seen that old Twilight Zone episode? The one where the norm of looks was these "ugly" pig people?

TL;DR:
It's weird to depend on what popularity thinks as they are the same people who hates a lot of awesome furry stuff.

It's not surprising to see people react like this. See "Eye of the Beholder" from The Twilight Zone. Mainstream media is still mainly stupid.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

So we are trending on Twitter over this...

Guess we own Cats now...

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Oddly enough, as a long-time fan of the musical, I rather liked this. Brilliant casting -- I especially like Idris Elba as Macavity and Ian McKellen as Gus the Theater Cat. But I find it interesting (not bad, just interesting) that they gender-flipped Old Deuteronomy.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Given who's playing the role, I can totally live with that.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Yes! The trailer is where I first learned who Elba is playing (I don't know if that's the first time it was revealed; haven't been following that closely) and I grinned.

(Can Jason Derulo act? Has he ever been in anything before?)

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

I've seen the live version twice. I'm not sure I like the look of the CGI, but I don't hate it. There is absolutely no way in hell I'm going to miss Ian McKellen playing the role of Gus the Theater Cat.

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (4 votes)

I've been to the theatre to see this stage production being peformed by real people in real costumes.
I can say that this feels pretty much the same.

This is a very different situation to Sonic. These guys and girls look like they might have come from an actual stage production of CATS, so the argument about live action being a good idea is a bit of a moot point. I don't think it applies in this case.

Taking commentary from social media is essentially the same as asking the dregs of society for an opinion of something that is so culturally above their intelligence.. How many of those keyboard warriors actually went to a theatre to go see CATS being performed? Its not considered a cool play because of various reasons, one of them I suspect is its age.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

Wow! This is... unusual. I honestly have quite mixed feelings here. The singing seemed fine from what I remember, I was just focussed on the appearance of the cats. It's certainly an interesting approach but definitely not a usual approach. Some parts of the CGI and bodies actually look really good. Some of the bodies, not so much. But those faces just do not fit the bodies which makes it a very odd experience to watch. The fur also seems very flat. I guess they wanted it to resemble humans pretending to be cats just like the play but its not a play and there's no need to take on its limitations.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Just because you can do a thing does not mean you should.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

Cringe from the guy who brought us that terrible Les Miserables adaptation? Who could've seen such a development?

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a red fox

New teeth. That's weird.